On Sunday evening against Athletic Club Bilbao, Gerard Piqué made his 150th league appearance for Barça. This figure doesn’t include the 21 first division games he featured in while out on loan to Zaragoza.
That loan spell came in the third of Piquè's four years at Manchester United, but in 2008 he returned to the club where he played at every youth level, FC Barcelona, and made his first team debut under the guidance of Pep Guardiola on 13th September against Racing Santander.
Gerard came into the team at a difficult time when consecutive defeats against Numancia (league) and Wisla (Champions League) had put pressure on newly appointed first team coach Guardiola. However, with Piqué at the heart of the defence, Barça developed the crushing form that swept all before them, both domestically and in Europe. Piqué has an astonishing record of 119 wins, 23 draws and just 8 defeats in the 150 matches leading up to this evening’s encounter with Bilbao, a sustained run of success that has brought him 4 league championship medals in 5 seasons, while also winning the World Cup and European Championships in a Spain shirt.
There have been plenty of highlights during these first 150 league matches but, not surprisingly, Gerard singles out two matches against Real Madrid as his best memories. On May 2nd 2009, he contributed a goal to Barça’s 6-2 dismantling of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu while in January 2011 he was also in the Barça side that destroyed Mourinho’s Real Madrid 5-0 at the Camp Nou.